How to Evaluate Government Performance While Constructing a Rule of Law Government in China

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 38, No. 4, 2017


How to Evaluate Government Performance While Constructing a Rule of Law Government in China



Zheng Fanghui and Shang Huping


Constructing a law-based government is a core element of the comprehensive framework for promoting the rule of law in China, while using evaluation to catalyze growth is in line with the incentive principle of management studies. Since China started to implement reform and opening up over thirty years ago, rule of law development and organizational evaluation have gone through several stages, each with different characteristics. Efforts to build a law-based government have met with success, but what the country now has is essentially still goal-oriented assessment. At present, this suffers from the lack of a clear goal orientation or definition of functions, an imperfect technical system and unsound motivation mechanisms, not to mention the practical problems of each government department going its own way, duplicating evaluations or being left rudderless. Drawing on a combination of value rationality and instrumental rationality and using government performance evaluation to promote the building of a law-based government not only conforms to the spirit of the rule of law and value rationality in government performance, but also strengthens the role of evaluation as an instrument for organizational management. Therefore, we need to create new evaluation theories, expand public participation, introducing diversified evaluating entities, improve technical systems, strengthen institutional buildup, and foster a performance-based culture. In addition, replacing goal-oriented assessment with performance evaluation will help the emergence of a new discipline—the performance evaluation of rule of law government, thus promoting multidisciplinary efforts to integrate and create new public administration theories in China.


Keywords: building of a rule of law government, government performance evaluation, goal- oriented assessment, government credibility